Disney World Guests Exiled From Hotel Room

in Hotel, Walt Disney World

A family wearing face masks approaching a cast member in the lobby of a Disney Resort hotel.

Credit: Disney

An exhausted family with two toddlers in tow was devastated on Friday when their Disney Resort hotel inexplicably locked them out of their room. The husband and wife couldn’t use the My Disney Experience app on any of their three smart devices to unlock the door.

There’s nothing like immersing yourself in the “Disney Bubble” at a Disney Resort hotel. Nearly every property offers exclusive benefits like early theme park entry, advanced access to dining reservations, early special experience booking, and more. Imagineers thoughtfully designed each Walt Disney World Resort hotel to achieve a distinctly Disney feel.

Family enjoying breakfast at a kitchen in their Disney Villa
Credit: Disney Vacation Club

Families on a budget or looking for a place to sleep and shower should check out the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds or Value Resort hotels like Disney’s Pop Century and Disney’s All-Star Resorts. Alternatively, some Walt Disney World Resort guests prefer to rent Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points from members for a deluxe experience at a lower price.

Moderate Resorts like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort sit right in the middle. Guests looking for Monorail access and a more luxurious stay can indulge at Deluxe Resort hotels like Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Disney’s Riviera Resort is the Mouse’s most recent addition in Central Florida, with Disney Skyliner access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Riviera Resort exterior at nighttime
Credit: Disney

Considering the price of a Disney Resort hotel stay, many guests expect the magical experience they were promised. Any hiccups can be frustrating, especially after a long travel day. On Friday, a family of four was furious when none of their devices unlocked their Disney Resort hotel room as promised when they used mobile check-in on the My Disney Experience app.

“App won’t unlock resort door,” said u/Nomar116 on Reddit. “Tried my Pixel 7, wife’s Pixel 7 Pro, and an iPad Pro. None of them working. I cleared all cookies and Internet data on my phone, tried both on and off WiFi. I’ve got complete Internet connectivity.”

Pop Century Disney Resort hotel room
Credit: Disney

“Of course I’m standing here with two toddlers, a wife with migraines, and all our bags,” they continued. “…Took a risk trusting this would work on one of the many devices…”

Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-off situation. Multiple Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests shared similar experiences.

“It’s possible your room hasn’t been ‘released’ by housekeeping and the door will refuse to open even with your phone or keycard,” u/JayVincent6000 replied. “Happened to me twice in the last dozen trips when I foolishly believed the app that my room was ready and I could skip the front desk…”

Guests standing on balconies of Disney's Pop Century Resort Building 6 in the middle of the night - one of many walt disney world hotels
Credit: Jess Colopy, Inside the Magic

“That happens to us every time after the first few days,” said u/Autumn813. “It’s beyond annoying when it happens late at night & you have to trek all the way back to the front desk if it’s a bigger resort. Now I just ask for a key (the plastic card) upon check-in & avoid using my phone for it.”

“We’ve had this problem too,” u/Mjb06 echoed. “Neither of our Magic Bands or apps will unlock our room.”

If you experience issues unlocking your Disney Resort hotel room door with the My Disney Experience app, MagicBand+, or a smartwatch, notify the front desk. Physical room keys are available upon request.

Have you used mobile check-in and digital room keys at a Disney Resort hotel? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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